Introducing the idea of a new sibling to my then-toddler was a heartbreaking exercise, at least in the beginning. I felt guilty about changing my son’s “baby” status, about changing his routine, and about the possibility of taking any part of myself away from my firstborn to make room for another human being. My toddler, surprisingly, made it all pretty easy for me. I was surprised by all the ways my toddler bonded with their sibling before they were even born, and hadn't expected to experience any of those moments. Like, at all. Believe me, my toddler was not one of those “easy-going” kids to begin with, so his “can’t wait to meet the baby” thing really was a shock.
Some of the ways my toddler bonded with his unborn sibling were facilitated by me, while other things kind of came naturally and as a direct result of his own excitement. I guess you never know how these things are going to go (hello, parenthood) and, in the end, it all depends on the kid. Don't worry, it wasn't all kittens and rainbows and bliss, especially once my toddler's brother actually came home. While my toddler continued to welcome his baby brother and was lovely and gentle, he decided to give my husband and I hell. Bedtime, food, and naps? Yeah, those all kind of went out the window for a pretty significant amount of time.
Still, I was happy he didn't take his resentment out on his newborn brother, and just focused his toddler rage on the grownups who, let's be real, weren't sleeping anyway. In the worst of times, I just tried to focus on the good things and the happy memories, including the following: